The Practices of ‘Contemporary’ Human Rights Activism

Upendra Baxi

in The Future of Human Rights

Published in print February 2008 | ISBN: 9780195690439
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081059 | DOI:
The Practices of ‘Contemporary’ Human Rights Activism

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The practices of human rights activist emerge differently in the development of the ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ human rights. In the present opinion, human rights activism works with the raw material of human suffering arising from the denial of dignity, equal worth, and concern for all human beings. Its transformative practices combat human rightlessness at myriad institutional sites and with divergent ideological orientations. They produce both politics of and for human rights; put differently, they reinforce, as well as reinvent, the practices of the ‘politics of production’ and the ‘production of politics’. Almost all contemporary human rights practices take an associative form, that of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This chapter discusses the NGO-isation of human rights, NGOs as networks of practices, human rights evangelism, human rights romanticism, the bureaucratization of human rights activism, and human rights realism.

Keywords: human rights; activism; non-governmental organizations; politics of production; production of politics; evangelism; romanticism; bureaucratization; realism

Chapter.  14725 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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